Check out my 5 simple ways to add more protein to your diet to not only help you stay satisfied but also help you maintain a healthy weight. It’s easier than you think!
Thanks to Michigan Beef Industry Commission for sponsoring this post.
September can be one of the most exhausting times of the year if you have school-age children. That’s one reason I like to focus on planning meals ahead of time, while incorporating as many simple meals as possible. While we’re running around trying to get kids ready for school, making sure all the mounds of paperwork have been gone through, lunch money is sent, soccer clothes are washed, and making the rounds to all the extra curricular activities it’s easy to grab not-so-healthy food options.
When this craziness is going on, the last thing we think about sometimes is feeding our families (and especially ourselves), nutritious foods. That’s why I’ve come up with this list of 5 Ways to Add More Protein into Your Diet without adding a ton more to our plates (literally and figuratively).
Research shows that eating a balanced amount of protein throughout the day can go a long ways in regards to maintaining a healthy weight and keeping us satisfied longer. That’s why it’s important to fit in protein at every meal and even snack time.
1 – ADD MORE PROTEIN TO BREAKFAST
You likely don’t have much time to prep breakfast in the morning which is why make-ahead breakfasts are the way to go. Recipes like these Cheesy Egg & Beef Breakfast Muffins or these Beef & Spinach Breakfast Burritos are great options that can easily be made ahead of time and kept frozen until you’re head to enjoy them.
2 – EAT PROTEIN AT SNACK TIME
I’m not just talking about children here. Yes, even snack time is important for adults. Packing simple snacks ahead of time can definitely save time and keep you from grabbing those oh so irresistible snacks from the vending machines. Try packing your own quick snacks such as individual nuts packages, yogurt, cheese sticks, and low sodium beef jerky.
3 – STOCK UP ON PROTEIN WHEN IT’S ON SALE
As I often talk about, I love stocking up on protein such as ground beef and steak when it’s on sale. I typically purchase lean ground beef (90/10) from my local Sam’s Club in a five pound package. As soon as I get home I divide it up into 5 one-pound servings and freeze them in plastic quart size freezer bags. I press them flat in the bags so they freeze quicker, fit better in my freezer and thaw out quicker.
4 – MAKE PROTEIN 1/4 OF YOUR DINNER PLATE
Why am I suggesting just a 1/4 of your plate be protein when I’m emphasizing protein? Because Americans are notorious for eating about 90% of their protein needs at dinner time. This is to remind you to focus on a balanced plate including a 1/4 protein, 1/4 grains, and 1/2 vegetables and/or fruit. Of course you don’t need to physically have your plate look like a pie since recipes like the ones I’ve listed below have a great balance of protein, grains and vegetables all in one.
5 – PLAN MEALS AHEAD
Planning ahead helps a ton when it comes to not just saving money, but also eating healthier. Try writing out your week’s meal ideas over the weekend. When it comes to planning ahead with protein in mind, remember to place frozen meat in the refrigerator the day before to thaw. I am starting to get better at planning ahead, but am by all means not an expert. Here is an example of one of my summer meal plans that was a fairly typical week for us. And after analyzing it I see that we could definitely be adding in more protein at snack time!
I hope these ideas get you started thinking about how to balance your diet just a bit more by adding more protein throughout the day.
This 5 Ways to Incorporate More Protein into Your Diet post first appeared on Chocolate Slopes.